Thursday, 26 February 2015

Sunshine! Finally!

We have had craptastic weather for the past week. It has been cold, windy, and intermittently rainy, keeping Winter Texans huddling inside.

Yesterday, the clouds disappeared and we saw blue skies again. Although it was sunny, the north wind still made it chilly but we ventured outdoors again, nonetheless.

Off to the Birding Center we went. Resentfully, I had on a long sleeved shirt, a fleece zipped jacket, my 3 season coat, a scarf, and Skip's lined gloves. I couldn't locate my visor so had to borrow Skip's dorky, red, Ducati ball cap.
The redheads were sunning themselves as usual.
We saw this reddish egret hunting for food (little fish). I can't not take pictures of these birds.
I heard this Belted Kingfisher before I saw him.
This mama gator has been in this little pond every time we have visited the centre. We are told she has several babies that, at times, come out and climb up on her, although we have never seen that.
The waterways in the wetland area are full of these blue tilapia. They congregate in schools of like sizes. These are some of the bigger ones. They frequently come to the surface, seemingly to gulp air. We were told that this water lacks some oxygen as it is the cleansed effluent from the nearby water treatment plant.
Today we returned again as it was much warmer. I didn't need my coat or gloves.

The black-bellied whistling ducks were enjoying the sun in the first pool of water by the centre.
This reddish egret looked grumpy with his head feathers ruffled up.
I was fortunate to get this photo of a roseate spoonbill in flight.
Down in the mud, we see lots of tracks like this, leading up to the edge of the water in many places. I'm pretty sure they're racoon tracks with the odd moorhen track near the top.
Here is yet another heron photo - this time a tri-coloured heron.
From one of the boardwalks, we look north. The convention centre is on the left. In the distance (centre), we can see the roseate spoonbills.
Here they are as I zoom in. A couple of the whiter birds are white ibis and there are a couple of snoozing pintail ducks on the left.
Skip the Intrepid posed for this shot with the birding centre in the background. No gloves today.
This time of year, the yucca plants are starting to bloom.
I posed by this one to give you an idea of the size of the cluster of flowers.
I almost impaled myself trying to get this shot of the waxy flowers. I couldn't detect any scent. Crested caracaras love to eat the yucca blooms. They are also a delicacy in some Central American countries.
Bottlebrush flowers are coming out now, too.
Bees and butterflies really like them.
We have another month down here so will get to see more spring-like things. The idea is to spend as much time down here as we need to so as to avoid snow and cold back home. Once home, we'll get to experience spring again. It is the circle of a Winter Texan's life.

No comments:

Post a Comment